Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I'm home after an exciting trip to Washington, and today I returned to the office, my classes, and all the work involved with both. The time in DC, the presentation at the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights at the OAS, and being able to see my friends, Laida and Pepín, made the nerve-wrecking drive over worth the effort.

Around 8PM Sunday evening, about 15 miles outside of Hagertown, MD, I heard a thumping sound outside of the car. Within seconds, it sounded like there was a helicopter flying right above me, and then I knew that rather than being targeted by some reconnaisance vehicle in the sky, I had a blow-out in my rear left tire.

So, there I was, on the side of the interstate, with 18-wheelers and heavy traffic zooming by. I was on the phone with my friend, Caroline, when all this occurred, and as she hung up, she said she'd pray for assistance to come my way. Not 5 minutes later, a car pulled off in front of me, and two young men hopped out to ask if I needed help. There were Samuel's age and like him, returning to school from fall vacation. Long story short--they changed my tire and made it possible for me to continue without having to wait three hours for AAA to arrive.

Yes, I believe in angels, and yes, I am totally grateful to these two young men for their help. I would be hard pressed to argue that today's younger generation is going to ruins...My experience is testimony to the total contrary.

Monday, Laida, Pepín, and I spent the day lobbying the offices of the 13 MD's and 2 dentists in Congress to assist us in raising awareness of the plight of 6 Cuban doctors and 1 dentist who are in prison across the island. I bet we walked 5 miles across the Senate and Represenative buildings in the process. I was amazed at the ages of the staffers with whom we spoke about these serious issues. I believe the oldest was only 33. Then, yesterday, we made our presentations at the OAS in front of the Commission on Human Rights. I believe our presentations were highly regarded and taken seriously although I realize that in the long run, we will have very little direct impact on shifting things in Cuba. At least, there will be documentation within the archives of the OAS about those topics we addressed.

So, today has been all about returning to students, tying up loose ends regarding the event last weekend, and getting back in the groove at the office. I leave for DC again on Monday for another conference about foundations and philanthropy at the community college level. (A barmometer of my level of enthusiasm for that would barely reach 0.) But, perhaps I'll have time to take in a couple of museums and walk around the city some more.

It's getting colder out...the tiny snowstorm that came through finished off all the beautiful flowers that remained from the summer...I've had to pull out my winter clothes....Sleeping in a hat and scarf is not far away, I can tell.

Off to go home...Namasté...T.

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